I stepped into a dangerous place of thinking I was home and dry. Or whatever that phrase may be.
I thought the race was won. I had done it. And this was all me. What a mighty person I had become.
And yet in a strange and awkward tension the affirmation of others became expectation on my being that weighed heavily on my heart. How was I to become all that they were hoping for in me?
And somehow God got sidelined.
Not to make space for a mighty collision and dive into a mess but for trust to leave and so perhaps it was for exactly that after all.
And when the search becomes less about Him and all about me do you know what happens?
The words stop falling. And all I could wonder was why they couldn't come anymore.
The thing is God is a space of a ton of I don't knows and impossibles to understand and confusion and frustration for one who wants control. But when we look at all that is falling away we think everything must be crumbling. And I stepped off of Him as the Rock and leant on my own understanding.
And what a pile of yuck that brought me to.
It's dangerous coming to this place of what I feel is safe. It's dangerous and risky and doesn't leave much space to breathe. Because if you just follow the rules, if you follow the routine and refuse to sway from your tried and tested path then all will be okay.
Out of bed I'd pull myself and into the usual, the norm, the oh so scary easy dangerous path.
I don't know how I did it for so long without realising that I was suffocating.
My own gasps for breath went unnoticed. Oh not by my friends, they were crying out for me, but did I listen? Not. A. Chance. Me, I just kept gasping with my eyes shut and my hands covering my ears. Oh I couldn't admit the truth of it all.
Until finally the exhaustion got to a level like never before. And so I simply slept. And slept. And slept.
And got back up again and joined right back in with all the madness.
Because addicts don't stop. Addicts are blind to all that is ripping them to shreds and tearing them apart.
May we learn to recognise the tell tale signs. May we learn to not let ourselves sit in the pits. May we rise.
My expectations of God went unmet. Disillusionment clouded all my sense and self-worth. It was all I could do to keep up the repetitions. To go through the motions of a life so together, it was falling apart.
And finally in a true God fashion, the night before I slipped away, He met me. He met me and He put it all aside to embrace me. He sat me right down and said it loud and clear.
Grace, don't you remember. Don't you remember the label I placed upon you? You are loved. I give you permission to reclaim these words I am loved. Because it is time that you laid all that other stuff aside. It is time that you realised the simplicity of it all: there is only one label that I place on you and that is that you are loved. Stand in that.
He is a rock. A rock of hope, of peace, joy, of fearlessness. A rock on which I stand tall and know who I am once more.
I am loved.
But this isn't going to work, and I don't understand why that happened, and why on earth does he think that it's okay to treat me like that.
I am loved.
But I can't hold it all up, I can't keep up with my own life let alone theirs too.
I am loved.
But how do I move on from here? How do I find the space and the grace and the hope to enter into the next season?
I am loved.
When you've been tricking yourself into believing you're safe whilst in fact thrashing wildly. It's a horrible shock to realise the truth of where you've brought yourself too.
And so I stand up. Because once you've collapsed to the bottom of everything you've ever become the only way to rise once more is to know that all strength comes from the King. Not just the strength for the BIG scary things, for the wildly inhuman impossibilities, but for the very rising out of bed. It is in Christ that I an do all things from the waking in the morning to the sleeping at night. It is He that places that in me.
And so I look myself in the eye again. And for the first time in sometime I see sparkle. The light bounces off. And I can see that throw-my-head-back-in-laughter look returning.
What a relief to be back in His arms. May I not get comfortable again. May I make this choice to trust daily. May I rise from bed and step out the door in full confidence that He is utterly with me on this one.
He has got this. And all of it.